I’m currently in the middle of planning what I hope will be my dream wedding. My boyfriend (fiancé!) proposed this summer and we immediately got to work putting together our perfect day.
I’ve always been a girl who dreamed of getting married – of the kind of dress I would wear, the flowers I would have, and the first song I would dance to with my new husband. I want a big ceremony and reception – I want to be the center of attention one day.
And I was always very lucky that my parents talked about saving money for my special day.
They were obviously my first call when I got engaged, and while I wasn’t necessarily pressing them for money, I was a little concerned when they didn’t bring it up right away.
But I assumed they were just overcome with excitement over my news and postponed the conversation until another day.
Dear Jane, My parents are insisting that I pay for my wedding myself – and I’m so angry with them for telling them they can’t come to the ceremony
However, when that conversation actually took place, they stated that they would in fact not be paying for my wedding. They said that they had been having bad luck with their finances lately and that since my husband and I both work high-paying jobs, they felt like the responsibility of financing a big wedding fell on us.
Then they made a dig at the fact that my husband was wealthy and joked that we would “know where to go if we needed help.”
I was shocked. Suddenly the wedding I had dreamed of all my life disappeared. They didn’t even seem to apologize! I tried to reason with them, tried to explain my side of things, but they wouldn’t hear of it.
I reminded her that my fiancé and I just bought a new home, we’re already planning kids, and we just don’t have the money to afford the whole thing on our own, but nothing has stopped her.
They simply said that they don’t have the resources to help right now, but that they will do everything else they can to help without handing over cash.
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Their lack of compassion really annoyed me and I ended up telling them that if they didn’t want to be financially involved in the wedding, they just shouldn’t bother. I’ve pretty much ruled her out since then, and I’m pretty confident in my decision not to let her participate.
But now my friends and my sister are telling me that I’ll regret it, that there’s no point in ruining my relationship with them over something so “stupid” and they’re insisting that I reconsider.
I don’t think they deserve to come – but maybe I would regret it if my father couldn’t walk me down the aisle?
Dear anti-budget bride,
Once upon a time there was a wedding that, in my opinion, was pretty close to your dream wedding.
I had the dress, the flowers, the guests, they were the center of attention, and I remember almost nothing about that day.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, that marriage ended and my next wedding was an intimate, family-only wedding in the cozy living room of a local hotel. I made the flowers myself and found the dress at a bargain store.
I remember every second of that wedding, which wasn’t about other people, but about two people who cared far more about being together than about throwing the party of the year.
All in all, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be a princess for a day. But understanding the importance of focusing on a shared life with someone else, rather than a day that just flies by, can help adjust your expectations.
Traditionally, the bride’s parents are expected to pay, but times have changed and there are many other ways to make the wedding of your dreams come true.
Honestly, if you and your fiancé both have well-paying jobs and your parents aren’t in a position to shower you with cash, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for you both to pay for the wedding you want.
Your parents may be hiding their worries and fears about money, possibly to protect you from knowing exactly where they stand financially. It’s their right to do that.
They have offered to help in other ways, obviously love you and want to support you in whatever way they are able. So yes, I do believe that you cut off your nose to spite your face, and that punishing your parents for not contributing financially might come across to others as corrupt and self-centered behavior.
They are old enough to get married, old enough to have secured a well-paying job.
I hope you’re old enough to hear that over the years you’ll deeply regret withholding a wedding invitation from your parents because of money. Not just because your father won’t walk you down the aisle, but because of what it says about you and your values.
My husband has an important job, makes good money and looks good, although he is a bit overweight. At first I wasn’t jealous of the attention he received from other women because of his attractive looks, especially because I always attracted a lot of interest from other men.
But that in turn made him very jealous and controlling, to the point where we stopped going out at all because he got so angry every time another man looked my way.
On the other hand, he loves attention. That’s why every time he’s around a woman, he forgets about me and immerses himself in a conversation with any woman who will listen.
Most recently, these women included my girlfriend and my cousin. And instead of respecting my marriage, they just flirted with him.
When I saw how they behaved, I felt very insulted and hurt and stopped talking to them or answering their calls.
Shockingly, one of the women refuses to give up. She keeps calling me and asking me to spend time with our husbands – and her husband has even called my husband to arrange a meeting. She seems completely desperate – not to repair her relationship with me, but to see my husband again.
The last time we went out, she and my husband both got drunk and when we got back to her house she put on a sexy lace dress and started showing him off. Unsurprisingly, he was very hesitant to leave her home. But the whole thing upset me so much that I avoided her for a long time.
We are childhood friends but our relationship is very volatile because she is only there when she needs something… now she seems to “need” my husband.
What can I do? I feel like I lost most of my friends because of my husband’s jealousy and now it’s also happening because he flirts.
I’m so incredibly lonely – my husband and I get along well when we’re alone – but when we go out we’re always arguing and he’s either jealous or flirting with other women. I still love him and am afraid to leave but this is driving me crazy.
Dear third wheel,
I have no idea how long you have been married, whether there are children, or how happy your marriage is unless your husband flirts with other women or gets jealous and controls what you do and who you are with. But nothing in your letter tells me that there is mutual respect, kindness, consideration or even love.
Dear Jane’s Sunday Service
There’s a meme going around that goes something like this: “Be nice to everyone you meet who is fighting a battle you don’t know about.”
The quote may or may not be attributed to Plato, but it is wise to take a step back when hurtful things happen rather than getting defensive and assuming that people are intentionally trying to hurt us.
Most of the time, behaviors that upset us have nothing to do with us, and understanding that giving people grace is a useful lesson in life.
There’s no denying that marriage is hard, and while things are good when it’s just the two of you, it sounds like it’s something you both don’t handle well at all when it’s your life managed together.
Flirting with other women, whether in front of you or just telling you about it, shows a lack of respect for you and a deep insecurity on your man’s part, which is likely to be overcome by no amount of love or care his wife can be compensated.
I usually recommend that couples see a marriage therapist, but I think the problems in your marriage may be too big to easily resolve. You can’t isolate yourself and stay home all the time and hope he does the same because that’s the only way your marriage will work.
You say you still love him – but I wonder what you love? Could it be that the fact that he has an important job and is good-looking somehow validates you or makes you feel better about having a partner that other women envy?
I want you to think about what type of relationship you want, what values define a relationship, and what you think love should look and feel like.
I can’t tell you what to do, but I suspect that making this list may help clarify what you want and whether you’re likely to find that in your husband, with or without the intervention of a professional.
There is nothing lonelier than being lonely in a marriage, and I send you love and strength for whatever you choose and whatever your future holds.